Monday, 14 July 2014


     Yes, I have an elderly parent in hospice. He has been dying in pieces for over a decade. Now, it seems death is closing in on him.

          Hospice prevents religious nutcases working in the healthcare field from keeping terminal people alive long after natural death would have occurred. 

     Yes, I am an atheist with long-term abstinence from my addiction. I came into the rooms of recovery believing. Investigating creation myths from around the world for a Spanish class report got me thinking. I discarded the dregs of my past fundamentalism at last. I was free. Atheism has granted me a peace that I had never experienced. Thinking and evaluating were no longer enemies. Logic became a friend.

          Learning how to construct rational arguments and how to avoid cognitive errors are worthwhile endeavors.

     Yes, I am angry. I reject the twelve step idea that anger is somehow worse than any other emotion and should be stifled. There are no gods big enough to rearrange the anger that is inherent in human experience. Nor do I want that anger to be surgically removed. Anger has become my truest friend.

          Anger is my truest friend but not my only friend. My anger informs me that there is an opportunity for change within my community and the world. Why are you so afraid of your anger?

     Yes, I have been grieving my parent and his many loses which his neurological condition has taken. And the things that family members have robbed him of. No one deserves what he went through.

          When you inform me that you cannot possibly help out in any way because you are "too busy" to talk on the phone or to answer e-mail, that is not a conversation. Financial affairs really can be managed from a distance. Dialogue is needed, not monologue interrupted by occasional demands from you to send you some paperwork. Piss off.

     Yes, I reject the notion of the "disease concept" of addictions. Addiction is a condition with multiple etiologies which is treated by quasi-religion and pop psychology. Step right this way folks. Some [usually male and monotheistic] god of your understanding will fix it for you as long as you are willing to be fixed. And allow the good professionals enveloping you to "counsel" you on how to be compliant. You will be grateful. Deviance is suspect.

          Compliance is not an indicator of successful recovery. Cookie-cutter recovery has nothing to recommend for it. If I wanted pop psychology, I'd read a pop psychology magazine. Much cheaper than engaging in what passes for treatment these days.          

     Yes, I have re-written the twelve steps so that I can remain in recovery. My life is worth far more than the words of a dead man. That's just how it is. 

          I reject the notion that your god believes in me in spite of my unbelief. That's silly. We need more scientific research in addiction and in truly individualized treatment of folks seeking recovery. As atheism expands, more options will become available to those of us for whom pseudo-religious programs do not fit.

     Yes, there are thirty three medical causes of dementia. Some of them are reversible. Others are not. When your elderly parent is receiving hospice services, it is a pretty clear indication that recovery is not in the offing. 

          Offering me your hope that we will all be united in a fantasy heaven does not alleviate the reality that I am dealing with. Telling me that he may miraculously not die quite yet is cruel. Asserting that your god has a divine plan is bullshit.

          Lewy Body Dementia is terminal. Period.


Traveling Mirror said...

I too have had a parent in hospice, I now have my 97 yr old aunt living with me because those whom she trusted to care for her, good christian folk, sold her house and robbed her of her savings. I swooped in and took her to live with me 3000 miles across country 2 1/2 yrs ago. I am also an atheist. There is always 5 minutes to have a friendly chat but no one calls.....

sapphoq said...

Your tia is lucky to have you to save her from those christian folk in her life. Care-giving can certainly be overwhelming and even lonely at times.

I wish both of you the very best. Don't forget to take care of YOU.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you.